National/International: CNI Groups Organize as USMCA Comes into Effect

July 4, 2020


At the end of June, before the imminent entry into effect of the new free trade agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA), the Metropolitan Anticapitalist and Antipatriarchal Coordination and the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) of the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) called for a series of protest activities that will include: a virtual march “Against USMCA! No to the New Trade Agreement between the US, Canada and Mexico!”, On July 1st; a virtual Forum “Analysis and Perspectives: a Comparative Framework of NAFTA-1994 and its Contributions to Social Inequalities”, on July 16th; and a public presentation of the legal resources presented before national and international bodies against megaprojects, on July 30th and 31st.

On July 1st, the day the new trade agreement came into force, the Assembly of Indigenous Peoples of the Isthmus in Defense of Land and Territory (APIIDTT), also part of the CNI, published a statement denouncing that this type of agreements “cement the legal frameworks to use force by law in the imposition of megaprojects in Mexico, as well as a whole series of policies, laws and reforms that violate the human rights of indigenous peoples and the Mexican people.”

It declared that the wave of violence that plagues the Isthmus of Tehuantepec is “linked to the imposition of megaprojects and extractivist policies of the Mexican government”, in particular the Trans-Systemic/Interoceanic Corridor-Train, “a historic project that since the mid-19th century has been proposing using the geostrategic position of the Mexican Isthmus as a commercial node for global trade, this as part of the expansionist project of the US, which, by not achieving its objective in Mexico, gained control over the Panama Canal, a project that is currently obsolete compared to the demand from this rampant global market.”

It warned about the fact that “the Mexican Isthmus is seen as the primary node in these treaties, and with the discourse of emerging from the economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, national and international pressure is created in our region by capital to streamline the works and construction of this Trans-Systemic/Interoceanic Corridor-Train from the port of Coatzacoalco, Veracruz to the port of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, interconnected with Section 1 of the Maya Train, passing through the new Dos Bocas refinery and extending from Salina Cruz to Tapachula, Chiapas, to consolidate an energy, rail, port and industrial corridor, militarizing and reordering the entire south-southeast of Mexico and placing the new border with the US on the Tehuantepec Isthmus.”

Given this, the APIIDTT made a “call to organization, to resistance and to fight for the life and future of coming generations. The Isthmus is Ours, not the companies, nor the governments, it is of the indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, it is of the Mexican people and of any person who decides to defend it, take care of it, and respect it.”

For more information in Spanish:

Boletín completo (APIIDTT, 1ero de julio de 2020)

Tratados como el T-MEC «cimientan los marcos jurídicos para usar la fuerza» contra los pueblos: comunidades del Istmo (Desinformémonos, 1ero de julio de 2020)

Jornada de lucha contra el T-MEC y los megaproyectos (CNI, 30 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

National/International: USMCA Comes into Effect with Mechanisms for Internet Censorship and Criminalization of Digital Locks Evasion (July 3, 2020)

National/International: United States Formally Approves USMCA Trade Agreement(February 2, 2020)

National/International: Mexican Senate Ratifies US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (July 4, 2019)

National/International: OSC Asks for Suspension of Agreement with US to Convert Mexico into “Migration Filter” in Return for Favors in Renegotiation of NAFTA (June 25, 2018)


National: FONATUR Declares Maya Train Has Environmental Impact Exemption

June 11, 2020



The National Tourism Promotion Fund (FONATUR) recognized that the Maya Train project does not have the environmental impact assessments that should be a requirement for infrastructure construction according to the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (LGEEPA) that entered in force in 1988.

According to the LGEEPA for the completion of works and infrastructures, the necessary presentation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is established before the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, SEMARNAT.

“The environmental impact assessment is the procedure through which the Ministry establishes the conditions to which the execution of works and activities that may cause ecological imbalance or exceed the limits and conditions established in the applicable provisions to protect the environment and preserve and restore ecosystems, in order to avoid or minimize their negative effects on the environment”, Article 28 of the LGEEPA states.

In an explanatory note, published on June 7th in response to Reforma newspaper after an article that stated that the Maya Train had started without the necessary environmental authorizations, FONATUR denied these statements because it considers that the Maya Train project is maintenance work for the rehabilitation and improvement of railways, which have existed since before 1988, before the LGEEPA came into force, for which they requested and obtained an exemption.

The Maya Train project has produced voices of concern and criticism from various environmental organizations about the environmental impacts that the project could cause, also questioning the lack of information on possible impacts. The Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) highlights risks and impacts such as ecosystem division, depletion and contamination of the aquifer, deforestation and extinction of flora and fauna.

For more information in Spanish:

Nota aclaratoria, (Fonatur, 7 de junio)

Postura del Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental respecto al Proyecto Tren Maya,  (CEMDA, 8 de junio)

Fonatur admite que Tren Maya no tiene evaluación ambiental (Proceso, 8 de junio)

Fonatur reconoce que ha usado antigua ley para Tren Maya y aún falta autorización ambiental (Reporte Indigo, 9 de junio)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: AMLO Inaugurates Trans-Isthmus Corridor; Civil Organizations Say “He’s Taking Advantage of Pandemic”(June 11, 2020)

Chiapas/National: Provisional Suspension of Maya Train Revoked in Pandemic (June 4, 2020)

National: Claims Fracking Continues in 4T; AMLO Denies it (May 20, 2020)

National: CNDH Issues Precautionary Measures for Indigenous Peoples of Yucatan and Requests Halt to Maya Train Works (May 18, 2020)


Oaxaca: AMLO Inaugurates Trans-Isthmus Corridor; Civil Organizations Say “He’s Taking Advantage of Pandemic”

June 11, 2020


From June 5th to 7th, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) made a visit to the south of Veracruz to inaugurate the works of the Trans-Isthmus Corridor in the midst of the health emergency due to the pandemic.

Prior to this, more than 100 civil organizations from Oaxaca and Veracruz released a statement in which they expressed their rejection of the modernization works of the Trans-Isthmus Train tracks and the other projects that the federal government is proposing with the megaproject. Its plans include wind and hydroelectric parks, mining and fracking activities, as well as the installation of ten industrial complexes.

The organizations of the Isthmus emphasized what they have been saying since the announcement of the project in the summer of 2018: “We consider that this project of the interoceanic corridor […] will be the destruction of the great diversity of the original cultures and Afro-descendants that coexist in the region of the Isthmus and that represent a true treasure for the peoples and for all humanity.”

They highlighted that the consultations made in March 2019 did not comply with the international standards established in ILO Convention 169 and therefore cannot be considered valid. In addition, they mentioned that new indigenous consultations had been announced, which were suspended due to the spread of coronavirus in Mexico.

Despite strong criticism, the President of the Republic inaugurated the Trans-Isthmus Corridor on the 7th. “The intention is to contain migration in these communities so that people do not abandon them in search of work in the north. That there is a job offer – I stress – so that whoever wants to leave does so for pleasure”, he said.

The AMLO government is not the first government to propose the industrialization of the Tehuantepec Isthmus area. Alejandro Murat, governor of the state of Oaxaca, stated during the event that “the great difference of this project that the president is leading today is that it goes from the bottom up, and comes from consensus with the indigenous peoples.”

For more information in Spanish:

Generará cortina de empleos el tren transístmico: AMLO (La Jornada el 8 de junio de 2020)

Cierra filas Murat con AMLO en banderazo del Transístmico; no es momento de mezquindades, dice (El Universal el 7 de junio de 2020)

AMLO aprovecha confinamiento para imponer de manera “autoritaria” el corredor interoceánico: ONG (El Proceso el 4 de junio de 2020)

Comunicado de denuncia sobre el proyecto del Corredor Transístmico (el 3 de junio de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca/Nacional: Más de 100 OSC rechazan proyecto del Corredor Transístmico a unos día de visita de AMLO (June 5th, 2020)

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” (May 19, 2020)

Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)


International: Resistances in Latin America Strengthened on World Environment Day

June 10, 2020

Recondpaz© Eco Caminata

In the framework of World Environment Day, the Latin American and Caribbean Water Forum was held during the COVID-19 emergency, which was held in the online event “Weaving Networks for Life: Defending Territory is Defending Life!”. During this forum, academics, activists, and environmental defenders from countries such as Puerto Rico, Paraguay, and Honduras, spoke of the challenges involved in defending the environment on the American continent during the pandemic.

Historic struggles by indigenous, Afro-American, and mestizo communities in Latin America, especially against extractive and agribusiness companies, continue despite the health emergency and the additional obstacles it represents. As in both Mexico and in other countries such as Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia and Ecuador these activities were considered ‘essential’, community resistance was limited by the confinement measures imposed by governments.

Pedro Landa, a researcher in environmental human rights, expressed the importance of joining local struggles to strengthen resistance at the global level. He did so after explaining the “artificial” separation suffered by the Mesoamerican countries but which today continue to defend the same resources and the same territory. He also emphasized the need to “denounce the responsibility of the extractive industries and complicit governments in human rights violations because they promote these types of industries, encourage and impose them, sometimes at gunpoint, of repression, of criminalization and the imprisonment of many defenders of the environment ”, as well as removing the legal shield with which these companies are protected.

Adriana Muñoz Perez, a Paraguayan activist, spoke of the resistance of women who developed an agri-food model since before the pandemic with the aim of fighting agribusiness that continues to expand and displace communities in this territory; and to reduce the economic impact on families by producing their own food. Even though today they are the protagonists of this fight, the pandemic has increased impunity, political persecution, corruption and social inequality for many sectors of the population.

As described in an Infobae article, the null action of the governments of Mexico and of other countries in Latin America against the protection of human rights to the environment, health and violation by companies has led to Citizen organizations leading the defense of these rights. However, these actions put the lives of human rights defenders at risk as there are no justice mechanisms and regulatory ambiguity, as noted by Benjamin Berlanga, head of the Coordination Unit for Social Participation and Transparency (UCPAST) of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).

In this sense, Pedro Landa called for a recognition and a tribute to all the men and women who have died for the defense of the environment rather than a celebration.

For more information in Spanish: 

Evento virtual: Tejiendo redes para la vida (Caminata ecológica, 5 de junio 2020)

Débiles mecanismos de justicia perpetúan agresiones a defensores ambientales (Contralínea, 1 de junio, 2020)

Suma México 499 agresiones a ecologistas en 7 años (QS Noticias, 5 de junio 2020)

La ciudadanía lidera defensa de derecho al medioambiente en América Latina (Infobae, 5 de junio 2020)

Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente, nada que celebrar (Excelsior, 4 de junio 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

Nacional: Organizaciones ambientales denuncian recorte presupuestal de un 75% de la CONANP; “paralizará sus actividades fundamentales”

Nacional: Da AMLO banderazo del Tren Maya entre la pandemia y la inconformidad de la sociedad civil.

Oaxaca/Nacional: Más de 100 OSC rechazan proyecto del Corredor Transístmico a unos día de visita de AMLO

Nacional: fracking sigue en la 4T, denuncian; AMLO desmiente que así sea

Nacional: debaten iniciativa que reformaría la Ley para la Protección de Personas Defensoras de Derechos Humanos y Periodistas en un contexto de mayor vulnerabilidad para estos sectores debido a la pandemia

Chiapas: Comunicado por la defensa del agua en San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Chiapas : La empresa minera El Puntal S.A. de C.V y el Gobierno de Chiapas amenazan a defensores de Acacoyagua, denuncian

Nacional: CEMDA destaca que continua el riesgo para defensores del medio ambiente

Chiapas/National: Provisional Suspension of Maya Train Revoked in Pandemic

June 4, 2020

Tren-Maya1© Agencia Reforma

On May 25th, the Collegiate Administrative Court revoked the provisional suspension of the Maya Train in the Palenque-Escarcega section, which had been granted by Judge Lucia Anaya Ruiz Esparza of the Second District Court of Injunction and Federal Criminal Trials of the state of Chiapas in favor of indigenous Choles.

By unanimous decision, the foundations of the complaint filed by the National Tourism Development Fund (FONATUR) regarding the construction of the part is essential and it can perform work during this health emergency were declared valid. “It was the Ministry of Health that determined that the activities of the Maya Train are a priority and, therefore, cannot be suspended despite the epidemic that the country is currently going through, which for that reason determined that the general communication channels cannot stop, since the economic and social effects for the population have a strong impact.” the ruling indicates.

The Indignation organization regretted that the magistrates’ argument is founded on the economic interest of the Maya Train, which has been widely contradicted by numerous organizations, communities and academics. In addition, they consider that they are ignoring the current health situation where “the greatest public order and social interest must be based primarily on the health of the population.”

Despite this decision, it will be next Friday at 12 noon when the Second District Court of Injunction and Federal Trials decides whether or not to grant the definitive suspension to the Chol community, and thus stop the work indefinitely until the case is resolved by the collegiate court.

Meanwhile, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that he can resume his tours of the country next week in the midst of the pandemic. The president explained that he would travel to Cancun on Tuesday inaugurate the Maya Train, in addition to visiting Merida, Escarcega, Palenque, Villahermosa, as well as initiating the rehabilitation of the Isthmus Train.

For more information in Spanish:

Aprueban recurso de Fonatur para continuar obras del Tren Maya (La Jornada, 25 de mayo 2020)

AMLO retomará giras la próxima semana para dar banderazo de Tren Maya (El Universal, 27 de mayo 2020)

Tribunal autoriza a Fonatur a seguir con la construcción del Tren Maya en Chiapas (Milenio, 25 de mayo 2020)

Denuncian que Tribunal pone en riesgo a indígenas al revocar suspensión contra Tren Maya(Somos el medio, 27 de mayo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” (May 19, 2020)

National: CNDH Issues Precautionary Measures for Indigenous Peoples of Yucatan and Requests Halt to Maya Train Works (May 18, 2020)

National: Numerous Collectives Call National and International Communities to Back Urgent Action against Maya Train (May 14, 2020)

Chiapas: Federal Court Orders Suspension of Palenque Section of Maya Train; FONATUR Considers Injunction “Unfair” (May 13, 2020)



National: Claims Fracking Continues in 4T; AMLO Denies it

May 20, 2020


On May 19th, the Mexican Alliance against Fracking denounced that this extraction method, recognized for its multiple dangers to the environment, is still present in Mexico, despite the commitment of the Government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to ban it: “We have seen new signs, and already with decisions taken without a doubt by the current administration, that ‘fracking’ continues,” it assured in a conference detailing that the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) approved six exploration plans related to this technique in 2019, in addition to giving the green light to another that also includes it. It also reported that the state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) would implement six of these seven exploration contracts.

The Mexican Alliance against Fracking concluded, based on its investigations, that “all the aforementioned shows that it is necessary for the government and the Legislative Branch to take immediate measures to make the 4T commitments reality in acts that prevent fracking from being used and, consequently protect the population, the environment and the climate from this harmful technique, the damages of which cannot be avoided as they are inherent to it, as has been demonstrated by its use elsewhere.”

In his morning conference this same day, Lopez Obrador rejected the accusations stating: “Today I saw a note that permits for fracking were authorized in 2019. It is not true and I am going to investigate it. We said no to fracking, no to mining left and right, we have not awarded a single mining concession, among other things because there are millions of hectares under concession from the neoliberal period that are not even being exploited.”

Some media highlight that this discussion is taking place in a troubled energy sector after several changes in recent weeks: in April, the National Center for Energy Control (CENACE) published an agreement that prevents operational tests in clean energy plants that were about to open; and just a few days ago, a new regulation was presented that has also been strongly criticized by private initiative when it “contemplates changes in criteria, since now the regulator will choose by means of a ‘reliability’ criterion, without privileging the lower economic cost of the energy, which could favor state-owned PEMEX and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) to the detriment of renewables”, EFE notes.

For more information in Spanish:

Información oficial confirma que el fracking sigue avanzando en México (Alianza mexicana contra el fracking, 19 de mayo de 2020)

Pese a promesas, 4T aprueba siete propuestas de fracking (El Universal, 19 de mayo de 2020)

Pemex continúa perforando con fracking, denuncia red de ONG (El Economista, 19 de mayo de 2020)

Asegura AMLO que investigará si CNH autorizó 19 permisos para el fracking (El Universal, 19 de mayo de 2020)

AMLO niega que haya dado permisos para ‘fracking’ (Vanguardia, 19 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ: 

National: Concrete Measures Needed to Stop Fracking Despite Government Promises. Foreign Company Drills Oil in Mexico for First Time in 80 Years. (September 2, 2019)

National: Fracking or not in Mexico? (February 13, 2019)

National: Mexican Alliance against Fracking Urges President Elect to Legally Stop the Activity (August 19, 2018)


Guerrero: Mining Leader of Opposition to Media Luna Company Murdered in Cocula

May 19, 2020

Oscar-OntiverosOscar Ontiveros Martínez (@Proceso)

On May 12th, the mining leader in opposition to the Media Luna company, Oscar Ontiveros Martinez, was murdered by an armed group in the town of Real de Limon, municipality of Cocula.

Relatives of the victim denounced that “the murder of Oscar Ontiveros was for political-labor reasons and in repression for his activism in the Media Luna mining company, as he was a key worker in the work stoppage in November 2017.” They recalled that for the same reason he was one of the workers fired by the managers of the mining company after the strike movement that ended in early 2018.

They stated that the same paramilitary group allegedly hired by the mining company based in Cocula, was the one which murdered Quintin Salgado in January 2018, another activist opposed to the mining company who led a work stoppage to demand union independence and respect for the rights of tenant farmers . “This armed group has positioned itself in the Rio Balsas area, in favor of the Media Luna mining company because they receive monetary benefits to control the stoppages and any sign of community organization to denounce what is happening within the company,” they stated.

It should be remembered that, in January 2018, the brothers Victor and Marcelino Sahuanitla Peña, both workers of the Media Luna company, who were participating in the work stoppage, were also killed.

This week, Media Luna, a subsidiary of Torex Gold Resources led by Canadian Fred Staford, announced that it was about to resume activities after stopping due to the health emergency that is caused by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) since April 2nd. It added that from May 18th operations will be resumed immediately and by June the mine will already be in “routine production.”

For more information in Spanish: 

Ejecutan a opositor a la minera Media Luna en Cocula, Guerrero (Proceso, 16 de mayo de 2020)

Inseguridad y pandemia factores de riesgo para operar en Guerrero: minera Torex Gold (El Sur, 15 de mayo de 2020)

Astudillo “actuó para remover bloqueos ilegales” del sindicato minero en 2018: Media Luna(Proceso, 14 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Guerrero: Desapareció líder comunitario de Cocula, Sindicato de EU pide a México su localización (October 2, 2019)

Guerrero: Conflict at Mine of Canadian Company Torex Gold Resources (February 17, 2018)

Guerrero: NGO releases Urgent Action to protect Evelia Bahena García, Diana Coralina Brito, and Félix Rodríguez Navarrete (September 10, 2015)


Oaxaca: “The Isthmus is Ours” Campaign Rejects Integration of “Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention”

May 19, 2020


In a statement published on May 15th, the organizations that are part of the “The Isthmus is Ours” campaign rejected the integration of the ” Isthmus of Tehuantepec Interoceanic Corridor Regional Committee for Social Attention” initiated at the beginning of the month, an act that they called “a stab in the back to their own peoples.”

“A supposed regional committee [was formed] to guarantee the installation of the set of mega-death projects called the Program for the Integral Development of the Isthmus-Interoceanic Corridor. Municipal presidents, the Oaxaca state government and the federal government are offering our lands and invaluable natural assets to large companies. and transnational corporations, without informing and, much less, consulting their councils, communities, neighborhoods, colonies and inhabitants of the Tehuantepec Isthmus region”,they denounced.

They considered the fact “a mockery and a flagrant violation of the collective human rights of Indigenous Peoples”. They affirmed that it is “highly negative for our peoples that, abusing the context of a health emergency, the imposition of this neoliberal project continues, which, if implemented, would mean billions of dollars for private and multinational benefits, at the expense of nature, the culture and ways of life of the peoples. This, when there are not even basic supplies for patient care and for the protection of workers in hospitals and health centers in the area. In addition, the installation of this Committee continues to ignore the observations and complaints of various communities and organizations in the region and the country, regarding the Environmental Impact Statement for the modernization of the current railroad, instead extending said EIR, for the section La Mata – Salina Cruz.”

They confirmed their position: “All these megaprojects have only generated belts of misery; have forced populations to migrate out of the region, polluting and degrading the environment as well as local ecosystems, seriously affected the health of the local population, induced social pathology (alcoholism, drug addiction, intra-family violence, femi-homicides) destroying the tissue social-community. On the other hand, they have only created precarious, temporary jobs, without job benefits, through companies that subcontract our countrymen to avoid responsibilities. In addition, it is noteworthy that, with regard to the increasingly intense wave of poor migrant families, with this “Integral Development Program”, the 4T government plans to build a “green” wall without partitions, to contain the migrant advance towards the United States and make the region a militarized barrier to hyper-precarious employment, with over-exploited migrant labor.”

It should be noted that in the event in which the Committee was formed, Rafael Marin Mollinedo, general director of the Interoceanic Corridor of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (CIIT), asked the councilors present to see to the demands of the citizens, having learned of “some situations adverse to the project”: “If people show disagreement this work will not be done; Everyone’s participation is important and you have to be and have leaders who help minimize complaints; unfortunately old demands are coming to light, they are taking advantage of the moment to be seen to, so I ask for your support.”

For more information in Spanish:

Organizaciones indígenas y comunitarias, rechazamos la integración del llamado Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (OSC, 15 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional de Atención Social del Corredor Interoceánico (La Jornada, 2 de mayo de 2020)

Instalan Comité Regional para la Atención Social del Corredor interoceánico del Istmo de Tehuantepec (Istmopress, 1ero de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Oaxaca: Organizations, Communities and Movements Demand Suspension of Trans-Isthmus Project (May 2, 2020)

Oaxaca: Illegal Start on Trans-Isthmus Corridor without EIR Denounced (April 28, 2020)

Oaxaca: Assembly of Isthmus Peoples in Resistance to Megaprojects Formed (March 19, 2020) (March, 2020)


National: CNDH Issues Precautionary Measures for Indigenous Peoples of Yucatan and Requests Halt to Maya Train Works

May 18, 2020

Tren_covid© Excelsior

On May 14th, the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) called on the federal government to stop work on the Maya Train because of the risk that the indigenous communities, workers in the areas involved in this megaproject run. In previous days, the project was declared “essential” to continue during the contingency. However, the area that this train will travel is marked by a large number of infections and deaths from COVID-19. According to data from the Secretary of Health, the states of Tabasco, Campeche and Quintana Roo are among the five with at least one case in all of their municipalities and a total of 5,020 infections and 622 deaths.

In addition, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed his desire to start a tour of the different states through which the train would pass and so mark the initiation of work, although he clarified that it would be after June 1st. In this sense, the CNDH reiterated the need for the National Tourism Development Fund (FONATUR) to suspend work “urgently”and issued precautionary measures for the indigenous peoples of the Yucatan peninsula. The organization argued that this request is made based on the current state of the pandemic which, being in Phase 3, “is of the utmost gravity, urgency and possible damage to the Health, Personal Integrity and Life of the inhabitants of the region.”

In addition, the complaint filed by indigenous peoples and civil organizations defending human rights in Yucatan who allege the alleged violation of articles four and 29 of the Constitution was considered; article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and four and five of the American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica), which establish the human right to Health, Personal Integrity and Life.

For more informatio in Spanish:

CNDH pide frenar Tren Maya por riesgos en pueblos indígenas ante epidemia (Animal político, 14 de mayo 2020)

Llama la CNDH a parar obras del Tren Maya “no esenciales” (La Jornada, 15 de mayo 2020)

Covid-19 pega con tubo a ruta del Tren Maya; sureste, en alerta (Excelsior, 15 de mayo 2020)

CNDH: Comunicado de Prensa (Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos, 14 de mayo 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Numerous Collectives Call National and International Communities to Back Urgent Action against Maya Train (May 14, 2020)

Chiapas: Federal Court Orders Suspension of Palenque Section of Maya Train; FONATUR Considers Injunction “Unfair” (May 13, 2020)

National: Online Forum “No to the Misnamed Maya Train”(May 5, 2020)

Chiapas: “Not Only COVID Threatens Life” – Las Abejas de Acteal Civil Society (April 25, 2020)


National: CSOs Request Dialogue Spaces “Given the Disturbing Vulnerability of [Indigenous] Peoples and Communities” in Coronavirus Pandemic

May 18, 2020


In a statement published on May 14th, a dozen Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including La Montaña Tlachinollan Human Rights Center (Guerrero), EDUCA (Oaxaca) and the Fray Bartolome de Las Casas Center for Human Rights (Chiapas), expressed their “deep concern about the conditions that the pandemic may generate in the communities during the following weeks and months, and we ask that a space for dialogue be opened to build proposals that address their conditions and needs.”

They recalled that these groups “have been historically forgotten by public health institutions, causing the systematic violation of their right to health,” a vulnerability that has been reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19)

“In addition to the lack of infrastructure, medical personnel and continuous supply of medicines, institutional discrimination and the lack of a culturally adequate and affordable preventive approach to the communities are added; as well as, in this context, the lack of adequate monitoring and follow-up of migrants who return to their communities, taking care of their dignity”, they denounced.

They also worried about “the economic vulnerability of most of the people in the communities. Lack of access to decent sources of employment in communities makes them dependent on trade and informal employment, as well as remittances from migrants in the United States. In the current context of global economic crisis, both local sources of income and remittances are at risk of declining sharply, without a program to guarantee a basic income.” They are alarmed that the food security of several of these communities is at risk.

On the other hand, CSOs expressed their concern at the fact that “communities face a reduced capacity to defend their territories and the environment, since their spaces for community decision-making are restricted and access to institutions for the provision of justice is limited”, which is why they support “the demand for a moratorium on all large-scale infrastructure projects that are affecting or may affect indigenous territories without their consent, with potential adverse impacts on human rights.”

Finally, they warned about the context of increased violence against women aggravated by the context of a health emergency.

Against this background, the authorities urged “to adopt better actions aimed at this population in matters of health, economy, food, water, sanitation, attention to conflict and security, without prejudice to their self-determination and autonomy.” They also called them “To open a space for dialogue and collaboration with civil society that allows us to face this crisis from multiple places; recognizing the efforts that communities are already making to face the crisis due to the pandemic from their own ways of life and organization.”

For more information in Spanish:

Ante la preocupante vulnerabilidad de pueblos y comunidades frente al COVID-19, organizaciones de la sociedad civil piden espacio de diálogo (OSC, 14 de mayo de 2020)

Comunidades indígenas, en especial vulnerabilidad por Coronavirus advierte ONG (Milenio, 14 de mayo de 2020)

Preocupa a ONG’s vulnerabilidad de pueblos y comunidades frente al Covid 19(El Sie7e de Chiapas, 15 de mayo de 2020)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Cuts for Indigenous Women in Violent Situations(May 15, 2020)

Oaxaca: People of Oaxaca Granted Injunction against Sanctions for Use of Face Masks (May 11, 2020)

National: CNDH Calls for Protection of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Populations against COVID-19 (April 14, 2020)

National: Organizations Denounce Health Neglect in Open Letter to AMLO (April 16, 2020)